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Barca hampered by archaic FIFA

Barcelona 21 hours ago
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Bayern MunichBayern Munich
VfL WolfsburgVfL Wolfsburg
6:30 PM GMT
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 15, 2007

Toshack expects response after gutless displays

John Toshack has told his Wales stars he expects to see a reaction from them after the shambles of Cyprus, in their final two Euro 2008 qualifiers.

The Wales chief was unrepentant after his savage attack on his squad following the defeat in Cyprus last month, when he was critical of their commitment and pampered lifestyle.

And Toshack defended the right of Wales fans to be able to vent their feelings on their team if they see fit.

Following the Cyprus debacle, Wales won scrappily 2-1 in San Marino and were subjected to considerable abuse from their own fans.

Now they must face the Republic of Ireland in Cardiff on Saturday and Germany in Frankfurt next Wednesday to complete a roller-coaster qualifying group.

They could still finish third, and Toshack reveals his feelings by saying: 'The last trip wasn't the best in Wales history, and I could be responsible for some of that with what I said.

'I felt the door had opened for us before Cyprus, we had won three away from home on the run and I could see us getting third spot.

'And with all the problems we have had, being beaten in the table by only Germany and the Czechs would have been a great achievement.

'That is why the defeat in Cyprus disappointed me something terrible.

'We still have that opportunity if we win by two goals against the Republic of Ireland. We just have to do that to finish above the Irish.

'That is what I expect my team to go out and do. We can finish third or sixth, that is how thin the dividing line is.

'I have been taught always to be ambitious, if you are not disappointed when you do not achieve something, it is time to finish.

'Our squad has very few trophies amongst us, and some will say what you haven't had you don't miss.

'But we have to make ourselves more ambitious, particularly the younger ones. They are going to have another six cracks at qualifying for a tournament.

He added: 'I hope and expect them to go for a two-goal win. That is what we are looking for.

'Things have gone well this week, I hope and expect the side to feel like I feel.

'After what happened in Cyprus, you have to react in some way, do something. You either bang the table, lump the sugar bowl around and you prepare for the next game as best you can, it's up to you.

'Whatever you have to do, you do it. You are looking for a reaction.

And on the reaction of the fans in San Marino, Toshack said: 'Fans pay their money and are entitled to their say.

'They get up at 6am, go to work, get home at 6pm and they save their money to watch their team play.

'When things don't go as well as you like then you are going to get people voice their opinions. The customer is always right.

'The most important thing is that fans have the right to express what they feel after they have paid their money.

'A lot of them have to make many sacrifices to go on these trips to watch their team.

'I would never criticise fans for venting their feelings, sometimes they go over the top but that is the nature of things.

'Maybe these fans may have had a tipple too many, but it's their hard earned money.'